May 2006

But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence - 1 Peter 3:15
The Watch Tower and the Cross

The very heart of the gospel is the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul, under inspiration of God, wrote these words to the church at Corinth:

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1 Cor 15:1-4)

Not only do witnesses neglect this core gospel belief taught by Paul, but diligently attempt to undermine practically every aspect of the true gospel.

Their door to door emphasis is about a political kingdom which to enter one must become a zealous Jehovah's Witness. Jesus is a created being, the angel Michael, and inferior to God. Jesus was not "Christ" until John baptized him. Repentance and Faith in the great work accomplished at the cross is insufficient to save anyone. Jesus did not rise from the dead in bodily form. The Jesus that died on the cross is gone out of existence and his body was disposed by God. The new spirit Jesus is a perfect clone of the original bodily Jesus. These are radical departures from true Christianity and clearly define the Watch Tower organization as non-Christian.

Witnesses are also taught that Jesus died, not on a cross, but rather a torture stake.

The idea that Jesus died on a torture stake is totally accepted by modern Jehovah's Witnesses. The reason is the organization is Jehovah God's mouthpiece and speaks his truths through the Watch Tower society to the membership.

Unfortunately for the trusting membership, today's truths may contract past truths or reverse them completely. In 1972 the organization published an article on Paganism ridiculing the pagan concept of the modern Christian cross:

"... non-Christian cross came to be accepted by professed Christians. After being led to adopt the cross as a sacred symbol, professed Christians began depicting the body of one crucified thereon...."No Biblical evidence even intimates that Jesus died on a cross" (Awake!, 8 November 1972, p. 28).

The same article continues, "The adoration of the cross is outright idolatry, disguised under the label of being Christian."

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True Christians of course, don't worship the cross upon which our Lord suffered and died. It is however, a reminder of the great price of our faith. The Bible is absolute evidence that indeed Jesus was crucified upon a cross and NOT a torture stake. You would think that the leadership of the Watch Tower organization would be aware that their New World Translation contradicts their teaching about the cross as well as their torture stake images of a single nail driven through the hands of Jesus. Contrary to their statement that "No Biblical evidence even intimates that Jesus died on a cross", the eyewitness Thomas is perfectly clear that NAILS where used rather than a single nail. From the Witnesses New World Translation we read:

" Consequently the other disciples would say to him: "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them: "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails and stick my finger into the print of the nails and stick my hand into his side, I will certainly not believe." (John 20:25 New World Translation)

Perhaps the most discouraging thing for those who trust the Watch Tower organization, is the fact that this is a reversal of the previous teaching of the Watch Tower leadership.

Under the early leadership of Joseph Rutherford, Jehovah's Witnesses were taught not a torture stake, but the same cross, which today is considered total pagan and outright idolatry. Rutherford in several of his books discusses the crucifixion and includes images of the traditional cross as the means of Jesus death. His 1927 book "Creation" depicted Jesus as well as the two thieves being crucified. The caption reads, "Crucifixion: The blood of Jesus, representing his life poured out, must be presented in heaven as an offering for the sins of mankind; and without that blood's being presented as a sin-offering the people could not be sanctified" (p. 265).

Modern Jehovah’s Witnesses are unaware that The Cross and Crown logo (upper left hand corner of this 1931 WATCHTOWER) was the official logo for 40 years of the Watchtower magazine. Removed October 1931.

Cross Zoom
Zoomed in view of the Cross and Crown logo from an early
Watchtower magazine. Considered totally pagan today.

The following year Rutherford published "The Harp of God" which again had the traditional cross for Jesus as well as the 2 thieves. This was followed with yet another book by Rutherford, 'Reconciliation' which likewise placed Jesus on the traditional cross. The caption in part read:

'The death of Jesus Christ upon the cross put an end to the law covenant. He in no wise annulled the law covenant, but he fulfilled it. `Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." (Reconciliation, p. 168)

The Harp of God, Joseph Rutherford, p.113

By 1936 Rutherford seemed to have forgotten his previous works on the subject and introduced the torture stake idea which witnesses hold today. The following statement demonstrates Rutherford's non-admitted reversal on the subject:

"Why, then, was Jesus crucified? Jesus was crucified, not on a cross of wood, such as is exhibited in many images and pictures, and which images are made and exhibited by men; Jesus was crucified by nailing his body to a tree" (Riches, p. 27).

Thumbnail image of modern WATCHTOWER Magazine
promoting the torture stake theory.

The organization's changing teaching concerning the cross is further evidence that the Watchtower Bible and Tract society cannot be trusted to reveal truth. Many core doctrines of the Witnesses have also undergone radical changes, plus a host of false prophecies given in the name of the Lord make this organization a serious threat to true Christianity.

We should desire that witnesses would consider the mountain of evidence against their organization and turn to the Bible alone. The Psalmist gave this trustworthy advice:

It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. (Ps 118:8 KJV)


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Challenge Ministries
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